How to Repel Ticks Naturally

Protect yourself from Lyme disease without exposing yourself to a lot of pesticides.


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Conquer the wilderness with the survival tips in these Howcast videos. You'll learn how to make fire, build a shelter, boil water with hot stones, make a bow and arrow, avoid poison ivy, purify water, track animals, make a solar still, tan a hide, sharpen a jackknife, avoid a snakebite, tell directions without a compass, and much more.

You Will Need

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • Deer-proofing plants
  • Neem oil
  • A loved one to check your skin


  1. Step 1

    Dab on a little eucalyptus

    Dab on a little eucalyptus oil—studies show ticks hate it. Just add ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your sunscreen.

  2. Step 2

    Try fabric softener sheets

    Tie a fabric softener sheet to your belt. Though no studies have been done to prove it, many hikers swear the smell repels ticks and other pests.

  3. Step 3

    Plant things deer hate

    Put a few plants in your garden that deer hate: ferns, daffodils, tiger lilies, snapdragons, geraniums, and morning glories.

  4. When you are walking through tall grass or a tick-filled area, tuck your long pants into your socks.

  5. Step 4

    Apply neem oil

    Rub some neem oil directly on your skin. Derived from a plant native to India, this oil has been a popular natural insecticide in Asia for centuries because it repels over 200 kinds of pests, including ticks. Find it at health food stores.

  6. Whatever repellent you choose to use, apply it generously to your ankles, a tick’s favorite stomping ground.

  7. Step 5

    Do spot checks

    No matter how careful you may be, if you’ve been in an area with deer, and therefore ticks, have someone check your skin right away. If you see a tick, don’t freak out. Many don’t bite right away, and it can take up to 24 hours after the initial attachment for ticks to transmit disease.

  8. Lyme disease got its name in 1977 from the town where it was first discovered—Lyme, Connecticut.